Dec 28, 2015

Looking Back at 2015

Usually, by the end of the year I just don’t remember a lot of what happened.  Too much work, adventure and travel makes time go really fast.  The blog posts I put on this site serve as little reminders that things happened, theatre was created, bourbon consumed, adventures were had. For the last few years I've been using this site as a portfolio of sorts and doing a little summation of the year that ends (here's 2012,2013 and 2014). So, here’s some stuff I did in 2015...
CHOP at the Margo Jones Theatre
In late January into early February I mounted my solo show CHOP for a proper two-weekend run. It was well-recieved, though attendance wa spotty. I was glad to give it a solid two-week run here in Dallas. It felt like a neat bookend to premiering it in 2010 in the area and then taking it all over the country the last five years.

I also launched a new podcast project with my friend Jeff Hernandez. It is called The Rumbleshanks Tapes. It is the "lost" archives of conversations between a cyborg mad genius named Captain Ulysseus Rumbleshanks and his dogged interrogator Agent Hanson. Hernandez and I made 4 episodes over the year and hope to make a few more.

In February I redesigned website I moderate. I also "re-launched" my YouTube channel. There's anow a focus on theatre topics (history, thoughts, theories, etc.) and little behind-the-scenes mini-documentaries about my traveling solo shows.

I also launched a new section of this website called The Book Shelf where I have begun to compile a list of the all-time most beneficial books that have helped me as a person and as an artist. I am slowly rolling out "book reports" on some of the most influential.

CYRANO A-GO-GO at the Out of the Loop
In March I remounted a reworked version of CYRANO A-GO-GO at the Addison Water Tower Theatre's Out of the Loop Fringe Festival. It was a bit rough, but I did win a Best of Fest Award for it (this was the second year in a row I won that award!).

At the end of March I also performed a five-show engagement of CHOP at Tarrant County College, where I am an adjunct. This was more of a for-the-students run, though the public was welcomed. I had a crew of student stage hands helping. I love performing the show and I might do it again in the future, but I am moving on to other projects. I am putting CHOP on the back-burner for a while.

In June the 2nd Annual Dallas Solo Fest played at the Margo Jones Theatre in Fair Park. It was pretty successful. I produced it and Ruth helped out with hospitality and ran the box office. It was more difficult to get press coverage than the first year. I guess the first year had novelty. The second year is a bit of “Oh, that again…” Dallas likes new stuff.

In July we started an intense period of travel. First to Orlando, where my folks got the family together in the Walt Disney World resort. We were there to celebrate my niece, Kylie’s birthday. She turned ten. It was really fun and we spent several days visiting theme parks, eating really well, and riding rides.

Right after we returned from Florida, Ruth and I car tripped out to California, where we hung out with her sister Christine and her family. They live about an hour east of Los Angeles in a place called Yucaipa. Besides seeing a lot of Ruth’s extended family, we spent a few days in Anaheim for a big YouTube conference called VidCon (creating YouTube videos is one of my growing interests). My friend Jeff Hernandez drove out to attend as well. It was fun and informative, though we noticed that outside of the organizers we were some of the oldest people there. And of course, we went to Disneyland while we were out there. Two Disneys in one summer…

Back to Texas for a few days, then I headed off to Seattle. My friend Grant and I were meeting there before driving up to Naniamo (north of Victoria) in Canada. I was in a fringe theatre festival up there, performing my solo show CYRANO A-GO-GO. Ruth stayed home and started setting up the new rental house.

From Canada, Grant and I drove back to Seattle, then on to Fresno, California. In Fresno, I performed at a sort of mini-fringe event, again with my CYRANO show. It was an epic three week-long adventure that is too jam-packed to go into here in this letter, but I did make some new friends/colleagues, performed to several standing ovations and had a blast. I missed Ruth. The adventures are not quite the same without her.

At the beginning of November, Ruth and I set off for Scranton, Pennsylvania. I performed my solo show ROBERT’S ETERNAL GOLDFISH at the first ever Scranton Fringe. It was a good trip, though the festival was brand new and had a ways to go with audience attendance. On the plus side, the festival organizers put Ruth and I up in a neat hotel in the center of Scranton. It was a hotel that had been converted from an old railway station.

In late October my play DINOSAUR AND ROBOT STOP A TRAIN saw the light of day again. It was a co-production between my group Audacity and a tiny theatre outfit up in Denton, Texas called Sundown. DINOSAUR AND ROBOT STOP ATRAIN played in Denton and in Dallas over four weekends. The actors worked really hard. Unfortunately, there was spotty attendance in both cities.

In December, I started rehearsals on NIGHT OF THE TARNATUBEARS a horror-comedy I co-wrote with my friend Hernandez. I’m directing and producing with my own outfit, Audacity, it should be awesome. Opens in late January.

I had one or two other small triumphs at the end of the year. I published my first ebook on Amazon Kindle… my one-act solo show I BROUGHT HOME A CHUPACABRA. The feedback on it was overwhelmingly positive. I will try to publish more works in 2016. My little playlet THE YETI IN THE AIRPORT LOUNGE was included in a collection of holiday themed one-acts put on by Nouveau 47 Theatre in December. It got good reviews.

The above does not include the comics I drew over on, handful of illustrations I created, the interviews and articles I did over on, miscellaneous workshops I taught and the half dozen or so podcasts I co-hosted for Sensational Adventure Club's Bike Soccer Jamboree.

All in all, 2015 was a productive and far-flung year.

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